As we take a break from the books to enjoy the holiday season, there are many festive Vancouver events around Christmas.

Festive light displays are one of the more popular Christmas events in Vancouver.

The VanDusen’s Festival of Lights features one million Christmas lights decorating this 15-acre botanical garden in Vancouver. An enchanting holiday display awaits with themed areas, tasty treats, unique light features and holiday music from now until January 2. This is a ticketed event, so visit for more information.

Perched high above the Capilano River on the North Shore, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is decorated with “twinkling fairy lights like a shimmering necklace strung across the vast, tree-lined canyon.” The light display continues into the surrounding trees. There is also live seasonal music, family-friendly activities and a walk-through light tunnel – plus a row of fairy-lit Douglas firs that are reputed to be the largest Christmas trees in the world. This is a ticketed event open now until January 22. See the Capilano Canyon Lights website for more details.

Located just a few blocks from the UCW West Pender Campus, Christmas at Canada Place, presented by the Port of Vancouver, features light displays, the nostalgic Woodward’s Windows, a 15-foot-tall “Chrismoose,” a festive Avenue of Trees and the iconic Sails of Light. This event is on now until January 2 at Canada Place.

Right by Canada Place, at Jack Poole Plaza, is the annual Vancouver Christmas Market, a German-style market featuring 90 artisanal vendors, with everything from traditional food and beverages to gifts and more. The market runs now until December 24.

One of the more popular family Christmas events in Vancouver is the annual staging of The Nutcracker. There are two major performance runs this year, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s performance from December 9 to 11 and the Goh Ballet’s presentation from December 15 to 18, both at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Despite the recent snowfall, Vancouver isn’t known for its white Christmases – there’s only been four in the past 30 years. However, snow is always close by on the North Shore Mountains. Winter activities include downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and snowshoeing. BC’s top three winter sports areas are Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour. Also, Whistler-Blackcomb, located 90 minutes north of the city, is a world-class ski facility.

Published on December 9, 2022.